The chief of World Health Organization WHO said Friday that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and hospitalizations remain high, health systems around the world are strained at the expense of other health needs.
Speaking at his regular briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said as of Friday, there have been nearly 22.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, and more than 788,500 deaths.
But Tedros said beyond the numbers, nations need to learn to manage the virus using the tools available now, and to make the adjustments to our daily lives that are needed to keep safe and out of the hospital and relieve the strain on the health care systems
He said the countries around the world that are seeing a resurgence of the virus are cautionary tales to those nations that are seeing downward trends in cases. He said, “Progress is not victory.”
Tedros said that while lockdowns are initially helpful in suppressing transmission of the virus, they are not a viable long-term solution for any country. “We do not need to choose between lives and livelihoods, or between health and the economy. That’s a false choice.”
Tedros said the pandemic is a reminder that health and the economy are inseparable. “The WHO is committed to working with all countries to move into a new stage of opening their economies, societies, schools and businesses safely.”